The United Kingdom (UK) government has revealed that in the past 10 years, the country’s bilateral support has improved education systems for 11 Nigerian state governments, reaching over eight million children.
The UK embassy in Nigeria, which disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, said that the support had helped to reach out-of-school children and ensure they had access to school and receive quality learning, including basic literacy and numeracy.
The United Kingdom explained that educating girls is one of the best investments for reducing poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and therefore is a priority for the UK, also in Nigeria.
It added: “Since 2012, the UK has supported over one million girls to access schooling in six states through the Girls Education Project Phase 3, in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Since 2018, UK aid support through the Education in Emergencies programme reached over 200,000 conflict-affected children in the North-East of Nigeria with formal and informal education.”
On her part, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said: “I encourage Nigerian leaders to commit to protecting and increasing funding for a future where every Nigerian 10-year-old can read, and where every child can access 12 years of education. I hope there will be ambitious pledges and donors can come together to support the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) financing to give 175 million children the opportunity to learn.”
The embassy said that President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior government officials are billed to attend the Global Education Summit in London on July 28 and 29, 2021.
It said that the UK would partner with Kenya and the GPE to co-host the summit, which will urge world leaders to invest in education and improve access for girls.
At the summit, the GPE aims to raise at least $5 billion from donors to support education systems in up to 90 countries and territories, where 80 per cent of the world’s out-of-school children live.
It noted that the Global Education Summit provides an opportunity for Nigeria to share commitments to protect and progressively increase domestic education spend towards the global benchmark of 20 per cent of total government expenditure.
It hinted that Nigeria already received substantial funding from the GPE.
It would be recalled that in June 2021, the GPE formally announced the approval of a new grant for Nigeria of $125 million, an education programme that will be implemented by the World Bank in Oyo, Katsina, and Adamawa states.